All photos and text by Jack Rothman
All rights reserved. No photo may be copied or duplicated without written permission.

Updated 5/10/16
Copyright 2016

Located in the Bronx, New York, City Island is a small island, approximately one mile long and a quarter mile wide. City Island is surrounded by Eastchester Bay on one side and Long Island Sound on the other. Its bridge attaches to a roadway adjacent to Pelham Bay Park, New York City's largest park. In this area, and in the waters and wetlands, in and around City Island, many bird species thrive. Here, several and varied migratory birds are found. This website was created to help study, appreciate, and protect all the birds of this area.

City Island Birds
Since 2007

Welcome to City Island Birds. I created this website because this area of New York City is little known and underutilized by birdwatchers and other nature lovers. Pelham Bay Park, with its woods and wetlands is a critical stopover and nesting area to many migratory species.


Barnacle Goose at Orchard Beach

Jack Rothman


Traveling and Birding the Amazon

Several people have requested information about our trip to the Amazon.

Birding Interest- Past Articles

Important and Useful

The Wild Bird Fund   (Animal Rehabber)

New York Tide Chart

Urban Park Rangers

NY State Parks

Birdcast (Migration Reports)


Blue-gray Gnatcatcher taken near Bartow-Pell Mansion a few years ago. They used to nest there but with all the clearing to make the place look like a garden, they may have taken away the foliage these birds like to nest in.

A gorgeous Chestnut -sided Warbler. I don’t remember where in the park I took this photo.

I found a Black-throated Green Warbler, like this one near Turtle Cove yesterday. In the same tree was a Blackpoll Warbler

This is also the time of the year when the thrushes come through. Here’s a Veery from Hunter Island.

Binocular and Smartphone Help

If you’re not familiar with how your computer or smartphone can help you be a better and more successful birder, you should read my little primer, link here.

If you need or want a new pair of binoculars, you might want to begin here. Binoculars have really changed in the last few years. You can get a fantastic pair for a few hundred dollars and a really good pair for less than $200. Years ago, there wasn’t nearly as much choice. You should link here for ratings.

Migration is in Full Swing

Right now we are in the midst of the peak of bird migration. I think it arrived a few days earlier this year. On Mother’s Day the floodgates opened and huge numbers of bird species were reported in NYC parks. I wasn’t able to get out until the following day and Pelham Bay Park was also quite busy with migratory birds. On my short walk down to Turtle Cove I had 7 species of warblers, several orchard and Baltimore Orioles and lots of other terrific birds. If you can, this is the time to get over to one of our parks and enjoy the bird action.

Mid May- Red Knot, White-rumped Sandpiper, Roseate Tern, Black Skimmer, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Black-billed Cuckoo, Common Nighthawk, Eastern-wood Peewee, Swainson’s Thrush, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Cedar Waxwing, Red-eyed Vireo,Tennessee Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Blackpoll, Yellow-breasted Chat, Wilson’s warbler, Canada Warbler, Indigo Bunting, White-crowned Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow.

Late May- Sooty Shearwater, Wilson's Storm Petrel, Black Tern, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Alder/ Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Mourning Warbler, Nelson’s Sparrow.

Birding Advocacy

Save Forests and Save Birds

Ancient Boreal forests are being cut down for

Toilet Tissue, Paper Towels and Catalogs!


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Cedar Waxwings are also back. I saw a flock of them down at Turtle Cove.


Two years ago, on May 14, we had a fallout of birds after a thunderstorm. This is a Nashville Warbler from that day.


A female Black and White Warbler winding it’s way around a tree trunk. These birds are fairly common in Pelham Bay Park during migration. They’re always one of the first warblers I find here, along with Yellow-rumped Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets.

Notice how yellow the female is.